As we start to build up to the big party season I got thinking about how important it is to make time for enjoying the company of others.
It sounds so obvious but in many businesses we spend most of our working day behind our computers in a blur of emails and spinning wheels before emerging at the other end frazzled and more often than not into the dark. Then once home we spend a big chunk of the night catching up on social networks with everything we didn’t get the chance to like, share or comment on during the day. In the past I spent the majority of my working day communicating via a screen, but now getting out of the office and meeting clients, potential clients or friends in other local businesses is often the best part of my day.
Meet your customers
As a local business owner I really believe the best partnerships come from social interaction. Your mind is focused, you have an allocated time and know the outcomes you wish to achieve, plus talking invariably leads to ideas and new business – always a bonus!
Meetings can fire you up and excite you. Whether it’s finding out about new projects you can work on to coming up with ideas en masse, I thrive on social interaction.
Of course, allowing time to do this can be an issue but if you do find a way I bet you’ll get useful feedback to really help shape your business.
Hold an event
I’ve been longing to hold a party since we picked up the keys last December. I had this vision of our building teeming with clients, contacts and friends all enjoying each others company and exploring our offices and that’s exactly what happened. To celebrate our seventh anniversary, three of the our team’s birthdays, the new office and the end of summer, we recently held a small party.
You don’t need to spend a fortune just ensure you have enough people to give everyone a warm welcome and the drinks keep flowing. Think about timings. If people are expected to come straight from the office ensure you provide a little food as your guests are more likely to hang around in return for a few tasty canapés. Have a few things happening such as a short thank you speech, examples of your work on show and maybe a fun workshop. A couple of our team had the genius idea of an interactive activity so we created a pop-up green screen studio for guests to have a go at presenting the weather which was streamed into another part of the building. Lots of fun and a great way to showcase what our business does. Book a photographer if you can so you have some photos to share on social media. Gifts go a long way too and I woke up the following day to plenty of posts from people thanking us for our sunny yellow goodie bags.
Become a connector
Many of our clients had not met our team so it was useful for them to get to know each other and fascinating being able to put clients in touch with each other and then stand back and watch them interact. It gives me a warm glow and makes me feel like a bit of a business matchmaker. I think it all comes from trying to pair off friends when I was younger!
Meeting face-to-face takes relationships to another level so as we approach the key party season why not plan your own event? I bet you’ll have a ball.